African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines
African Ethnomedicines Network
Vol. 12, No. 5, 2015, pp. 53-62
Bioline Code: tc15097
Full paper language: English
Document type: Review Article
Document available free of charge
African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, Vol. 12, No. 5, 2015, pp. 53-62
© Copyright 2015 - African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines
COMPARISON OF RISKS FOR ADVERSE DRUG REACTIONS BETWEEN TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINES AND WESTERN MEDICINES: A REVIEW OF CHINESE-LANGUAGE LITERATURES|
Song, Yan; Ruan, Zhen; Yin, Shi & Bian, Ying
Background: This study aimed to compare the risks for adverse drug reactions (ADRs) between traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) and
Western medicines (WMs).
Materials and Methods: A comprehensive review of ADR cases reported in the Chinese-language literatures from January 2006 to December
2011 was conducted to identify the frequency, severity and hazard of ADRs associated with TCMs and WMs. Sort ratio (SR) was employed to
compare the ranking of TCMs and WMs. SR>1 when WMs ranked higher than TCMs. For group comparisons, nonparametric Mann-Whitney
test was used whenever possible.
Results: A total of 5097 cases were induced by 212 TCMs and 908 WMs according to 3842 reports in the final full-text analysis. In the
comparisons for the entire study group, as well as groups by pharmacology category and administration route, most WMs ranked higher than
TCMs in occurring frequency, severity and hazard caused by ADRs. The results showed the adverse effects from Chinese medicines were
comparatively rare and the risks caused by them were milder than by western medicine-related ADRs.
Conclusion: This study concluded by indicating that TCMs were safe in clinical practice compared with WMs, though not risk free.
Improvements in quality control and in the training and regulation of practitioners could substantially reduce the already low incidence of
problems involving TCMs.
Drug safety; Adverse drug reaction; Traditional Chinese medicines; Complementary medicines; Western medicines
Alternative site location: http://journals.sfu.ca/africanem/index.php/ajtcam